Friday, September 30, 2011

Jedi Lies? - Episode II

1LR continues exploring the Star Wars films for evidence to answer the question, "It is okay for a Jedi to lie?" Today, we examine Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
  • In this episode, we see (chronologically according to the films) the first time a Jedi lies to another Jedi. On the way to see Padme, Obi Wan says to Anakin, "You seem tense." Anakin replies, "Not at all," which is clearly not true. Sure, it's a "little white lie," but I'm SURE that Padawans are suppose to tell the truth in all matters to their master. Sure, Anakin is arrogant but this is before he was tainted by the dark side in any way.
  • Obi Wan uses the Jedi Mind Trick on Elan Sleazebaggano to convince him to stop selling Death Sticks. "You don't want to sell me death sticks." "You want to go home and rethink your life." Both of these statements are untrue for Elan. As discussed in the Ep. 1 Jedi Lies post, the JMT is, in its nature, forces the victim to believe lies.
  • I don't know if it qualifies as a "lie" or not, but Anakin sure twists the Jedi Code when he is talking to Padme on the refuge freighter. "Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi's life. So, you might say that we are encouraged to love." Anakin says. Is this Anakin lying to himself and Padme or is the Jedi Code so ambiguous it can be interpreted differently by different people?
  • On Kamino, Obi Wan reacts to the news that the "order is ready" by saying, "What good news." Obi Wan's entire visit to Kamino from that point on is a deception - he doesn't tell the Kamino cloners that he has no idea what they're talking about and doesn't know anything about a clone army. He plays along like he knows what they're talking about.
  • Yoda wishes to keep it secret that the Jedi's ability to use the force has been diminished. I wonder if this desire for secrecy would extend to Yoda outright lying to anybody who asked about this phenomenon.
  • When speaking about Count Dooku, Yoda says that since he left the Jedi Order, "Lies, deceit, creating mistrust are his ways now." This clearly outlines that Yoda thinks lies and deceit are the ways of the dark side..
  • Anakin marries Padme in secret. Although direct deception doesn't happen on screen, this arrangement by its nature must involve deception and lies. How else would they be able to keep their relationship a secret? Of course, this is after Anakin has already started down a dark path so this behavior is probably not reflective of Jedi in general.
All accounted for, there isn't much direct evidence in this episode of Jedi lies. Part of that may be that the plot was so thick with exposition. Yoda's quote is particularly interesting - he apparently sees lies as being seperate from the Jedi Order. It is also notable that we see a Jedi lie and keep secrets from his fellow Jedi. We'll continue next time with Episode III.


  1. Your nitpickery sickens me.

    Bullet Point One. To quote Wolverine in X-Men, "you're a dick."

    Bullet Point Two. Forces victims to believe lies? Bullsh*t. If you think that convincing him to rethink his life about selling death sticks, well, I'm just glad you don't work as an interventionist. Nobody would get sober around you. Hey, I'll use a JMT on some dimwitted 9/11 conspiracy theorist and convince him it really was terrorists. How's that "implanting lies?"

    I'd also like to point out that any finger-pointing at Anakin regarding lies from Episode 2 and forward, are his character flaws, and not indicative of the indoctrination and dogma of the Jedi Order.

    Yoda is perfectly correct speaking about Dooku and his "lies, deceit, and mistrust." Dooku lies for selfish reasons, for personal gain and dark machinations. Calling Yoda a liar for not disclosing their diminished capacity is exercising prudence. Consider parents who receive word their 7 year old boy has a deadly form of cancer. Are you seriously telling me it's unethical that they don't sit him down and tell him, "well son, you're f*cked!"???

    Boy, Obi-Wan sure is a rotten bastard, if only he'd have told the truth, the Republic would never have known about the secret army that was being created.

  2. Hey, don't get angry. In debate, the side that starts yelling automatically loses.

    I think you're mistaking my intent here. You seem to need to refute each point I make. All I'm doing is collecting all possible evidence without judgment.

    Yoda clearly indicates that "lies, deceit, and creating mistrust" are the ways of the dark side. So, wouldn't you say it's fair to say that the Jedi wouldn't want to go down the dark path? After all, according to Yoda once you start down the dark path forever will it dominate your destiny.

    Do the Jedi have "good intentions" most of the time when they're lying or using deceptions. Sure. But I'm not measuring their intentions. One could also say that Count Dooku is well intentioned. Nobody thinks of themselves as "evil."

    And is it possible that, yes, the Jedi lie but they're still good and heroic? Of course. But lying is a very specific offense because it reflects the inner character of someone. We don't want our politicians, police men, doctors, lawyers, or teachers lying to us. We get angry when they do. Why should this Jedi be given a pass for this same behavior?

    As for the Jedi mind trick, specifically as used in this episode, they ARE untruths than Elan is forced to obey. Elan DOES want to sell him deathsticks. Elan DOES NOT want to go home and rethink his life. Obi-Wan's casual use of the JMT to dismiss a nuisance is actually a bit concerning. Messing with someone's mind is a grave violation of that person.

    And, hey, calm down and watch your language or I'll be forced to delete your comment!
    (Using JMT): You do not want to swear in your postings. Stay at home and read One Lost Road.

  3. all offensive language has been cens*red. As for your pilgrimage to expose liars in film and literature, it's a moot point. Just like your debates about Superman, accusing him of lying,it's a character flaw in all human beings (yes, he's from Krypton, but the comic books/screenplays are written by man). I think the general population trusts Superman, even if he commited a great sin by deceiving General Zod into putting him in the molecule chamber.

    So it seems you have this internal need to tear down anyone that's viewed as a "hero", or accused of being "noble" and expose them because they lie. And not lies that end up hurting people...but any lie. Anakin being nervous seeing a woman he's had a crush on for 10 years lies about his anxiety seeing her to Obi-Wan. Wow, you did it. You exposed the Jedi Order for what it is. A den of evil. Congratulations.

    Hey, after your done with your Jedi: the True Hollywood Story, I want to see you tear down other great and admired heroes of film and literature.

    I want you to expose Aslan from Narnia, and go over what a liar he is.

    Next, lets tear down the film "The Greatest Story Ever Told". I bet we can find deception there.